Concert to be Tribute to Shakespeare

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Columbia REA and Shakespeare Walla Walla present “Such Sweet Thunder” with one performance at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, May 3.

This unique production will feature the Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra (SRJO) performing Duke Ellington’s Such Sweet Thunder suite in the historic Gesa Power House Theatre.

“Such Sweet Thunder” brings together a collaboration of artists and educators. Shakespeare Walla Walla is engaging local actors who will, under the direction of Kevin Loomer, Director of Theatre Arts at Walla Walla Community College, introduce each musical movement with excerpts from the Shakespearean texts that inspired the music.

Written in 1957, the suite’s twelve sections include 11 instrumental portraits of characters from Shakespeare, followed by a final piece evoking Shakespeare himself. Working with his long-time collaborator Billy Strayhorn, Ellington created the suite soon after he and his band appeared at the Stratford Shakespeare Festival in Ontario, Canada.

“Such Sweet Thunder” is presented as part of the 2014 Shakespeare Walla Walla Mainstage Season, which continues in August with the Seattle Shakespeare Company productions of “Julius Caesar” and “Two Gentlemen of Verona.”

Tickets are $36 and $32 (Students $9) for the single performance on Saturday, May 3 at 7:30 p.m. and can be purchased at www.shakespearewallawalla.org or by calling the Box Office at 509-529-6500 (call for Group Discounts).